Monday, June 19, 2006

Life as Chess

I stood on the top of a cliff facing the most formidable opponent I've ever met. He was taller than me by a foot, had brown-black hair, chocolate brown eyes, an intense and immensely intelligent face, and a half-grin that completely rattled me.

He was, without a doubt, the most complex enigma I'd ever met. He was witty, but held his tongue. He was intelligent, but quiet. He was creative, but measured. He watched, he listened, he absorbed everything around him. I felt like I was on a stage, or on display, or under a magnifying glass, but I felt completely at ease and relaxed. It disarmed me.

So we stood there on the cliff, facing each other, not saying a word -- a poignant end to an previously fascinating conversation about chess and life. We just stared into each others' eyes, some silent and unspoken dare for either of us to flinch. You could feel the electricity between us charging the air. There was fire in both of our eyes, I'm sure of it. Or maybe I was on fire and burning so hot that I couldn't tell the difference.

I wanted to brazenly kiss this man at that moment more than I'd ever wanted anything in my whole life. I could not move. I was literally paralyzed by fear and held steady by his gaze alone. I willed him towards me, and he stood stoically there, meeting my eyes unwaveringly. I was burning and I was frustrated. And then I did the dumbest thing I've ever done in my life. I caved. Literally, I fell back under the weight of the moment and the swimming of my head. I stepped back a couple of steps to regain my composure (and make sure my feet were still planted underneath me), and I said "So now what?", breaking the magic and sending millions of charged ions out at a dizzying pace.

He turned slowly to look over the cliff. The curve of his neck was agonizing to me, wishing I could turn his head and those eyes back around to meet my gaze once more. He stood that way for a seeming eternity, focusing on the view from the cliff.

When he did speak, it was again into my eyes. "Do you feel like getting a bite to eat?" he asked me casually, as if he didn't care if I didn't, but that his entire appetite hinged on my opinion of consuming food at that moment. I could not imagine parting from his presence at that moment, so I just as casually and readily agreed.

Walking back down from the cliff where we stood took some balance I did not have. He was in front of me, yet knew when I began loosing my balance and turned and offered me a hand to steady myself with. His fingers touching mine sent shocks through me in undulating waves. After I was steadied he removed his hand and repositioned it to take mine into his with a strength and control that could move deftly into me should I stumble again. The next time it happened (and this time I blamed him for unsettling me in the first place), he tightened his grip on my hand, somehow bringing his forearm up underneath mine for support and moving to get his other hand around my waist, guiding me between a particularly steep spot with few trees or rocks to hold on to. (Note: always go hiking/rock climbing with an attractive man who can and will play the role of knight in shining armor to the damsel in distress every chance you get!)

When we exited the hill onto the flat gravel where his car was parked, he held my hand out for me to go first, then let me walk ahead of him, making me the one to release his hold. (Sly, isn't he?) The first tingling of cool air underneath my fingertips warmed by the heat of his hand was the coldest and cruelest shock of my life. I hated having to let go at all, but had no excuse not to. There was no reason for me to return to his side, other than because I wanted to, and I certainly was not going to show such weakness!, so I walked on to the car. I could swear to you that I felt his gaze all along my figure, but when I asked him (I did decide to be that bold), he simply smiled at me and ignored my question, posing one of his own instead.

"So what do you want to eat?"

This man, Ginevra, this complex and electrically charged enigma of a man... this is the man I married.

1 comment:

Ginevra Fanshawe said...

He sounds just perfect. You obviously chose well! Thank you for giving me a little glimpse of something amazing and rare.

My husband and I never had that romantic, passionate connection you describe. We've always been good friends, who enjoy laughing together, and can occasionally support each other, but during the (increasing) times when we're not laughing, our relationship seems to be anything but one of equals. He's either the angry, condemning parent to my cowering child, or the pampered, indulged son to my exasperated but forgiving mom.

I've always wondered what it would be like to have a marriage that was based on mutual attraction and fascination....I know I'll never have that, but you've given me a better understanding, at least.